With Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former fixer taking the stand as a prosecution witness, many factors come in to play for the jury assessing his credibility. Mr. Cohen is not in any way a typical lawyer and this case is entirely unprecedented. A unique characteristic of Mr. Cohen is he has lied a lot in the past, under oath, so the jury will hear about his prior credibility problems. What

“What bumper stickers are on your car?”  It has long been a favorite question asked by lawyers to prospective jurors during voir dire and on jury questionnaires in hopes of determining which political party they embrace. In a civil case, conventional thinking has been that Democrats tend to harbor more anti-corporate sentiment than their Republican counterparts. Up until very recently, knowing a potential juror’s political affiliation offered insights into a

Jurors typically employ one of several perceptual lenses to help them examine the evidence in a case. Their perspective might be legal-based, moralistic, or anti-corporate, to name a few. One perspective that often gets overlooked is when jurors are guided by a cynicism lens.  Cynical jurors regularly and thoroughly question the motives of corporations, which leads to fundamental mistrust. The cynic has a negative outlook and it does not take a lot

If Donald Trump faces a jury in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s anti-racketeering case against him and other co-defendants, will the prospective jury pool afford him the fairness and impartiality he is entitled to? Trial Methods reached out to a sample of 363 jury-eligible residents of Fulton County to assess what pre-conceptions have been formed about the former president and this criminal matter, gauge the strength of these opinions,

Facing the prospect of four jury trials in four very different venues as the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential election, Donald Trump is the most recognized criminal defendant in the history of this nation. Imagine a prospective juror in any one of the pending cases saying they are not really familiar with and do not know anything about Mr. Trump. In most “regular” cases, deeply embedded knowledge about the

As courthouses across the country continue to face backlogs of cases, Trial Methods set out to take the pulse of the public by collecting data online from 472 jury-eligible people from 15 counties across the country. These counties were selected because they represent a range of geographically, demographically and politically diverse subsets of the population. The results from the 2023 survey, conducted every year in the spring since 2017, show

Significant time has been spent contemplating what impact the Murdaugh family empire and its multi-generations of legal and political prowess would have on how jurors assessed the evidence in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh. At the start of jury selection, many observers, analysts and reporters understandably wondered whether jurors could be fair despite experiences with and attitudes of the all-powerful hometown family. Was a prospective juror ever personally or

In March of 2020 U.S. courtrooms came to a screeching halt and remote proceedings became commonplace in many venues. Trial dates were pushed months and sometimes years. Various Covid-related restrictions took hold across the country, and courthouses came up with their own models for resuming jury trials. Some courthouses barely shut down while others to this day take stringent precautions for in-person jury trials.  Starting in the summer of 2020,

The teaching ability of expert witnesses, the attorneys and the case they present translates into enhanced perceptions of credibility. Effective teaching is clear and concise but it is also relevant and immediate. Preparing a simple and fitting defense presentation for a complex set of facts can be challenging, especially if the plaintiff relies on simplistic themes and repeated notions of reptile-based arguments. The good news is that most jurors, because

As the dueling defamation lawsuits between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard approach closing arguments, for some context, it is worth briefly looking at the origins of defamation (also referred to as libel or calumny), which go back thousands of years to the time of the Roman Empire. The Praetorian Edict, codified circa AD 130, declared that an action could be brought for shouting at someone contrary to good morals. From